India’s laptop import restrictions is not a bad move
A look at why the decision to impose an import license on computers, if implemented intelligently, may not be a bad move
On August 3, the government of India issued a notification announcing the introduction of import licenses for laptops, personal computers and servers. The decision was deferred until October 31 on August 4.
While the policy has multiple exemptions, including import of such devices when they are required as capital goods (this will make sure that businesses, especially in the service sector, are not disrupted) or imports by individuals, it is bound to change the business landscape for computer sellers in a big way. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification does not mention any reason for the change in rules but experts have described it as a nudge towards promoting domestic manufacturing of these devices. Government officials have also cited concerns related to national security. Whatever the reason, a HT analysis of relevant numbers shows that, if implemented intelligently, this is not a bad move. Here are some charts which explain this in detail.